In Pictures

Federico Borella scoops first prize in the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

The winners of the professional category of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards have been announced, with Federico Borella named as Photographer of the Year for his work on the plight of Indian farmers in the drought-hit region of Tamil Nadu.

A portrait of Karpule, a farmer from Tamil Nadu Image copyright Federico Borella
Image caption A portrait of Karpule, who once worked as farmer in Tamil Nadu, India. Now, he works on a construction site, and earns 400 rupees per day.
Mallika standing in the middle of the field, where her husband Pallicham killed himself in January 2017. Laalgudhi village, Tamil Nadu, India. Image copyright Federico Borella
Image caption Mallika stands in the middle of the field where her husband Pallicham killed himself in January 2017. Their crop was destroyed during a drought and the family got into debt.

Borella was awarded first place in the Documentary category for his project Five Degrees.

The work poses the question: Could the dramatic increase in the numbers of Indian farmers who take their own lives be closely connected to climate change and rising temperatures?

The series is located in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India, which faced the worst drought for 140 years in 2016-17.

Mike Trow, Chairman of the Professional Jury said: "Borella documented this with incredible sensitivity and imagination, and a direct aesthetic that we all agreed worked on a number of levels.

"The balance of stillness of the portraits, the clarity of the landscape and also the simple still lives of tool and skull all made a very modern yet unforced document that is terrifically human and vital without ever being over-emotive or manipulative."

Other winning photos documented public spaces, political events and sporting achievement. Here's a selection.

An aerial shot of a swimming pool in Germany Image copyright Stephan Zirwes
Image caption Stephan Zirwes won first prize in the Architecture category for his project on public swimming pools in Germany.
Ester, 16 years old, portrayed on the streets of Goma. She is part of the Club Virunga, one of the two official boxing clubs in Goma. Image copyright Alessandro Grassani
Image caption First place in the Sport category went to Alessandro Grassani for his series, Boxing Against Violence: The Female Boxers Of Goma. Here, Ester, 16 years old, is pictured on the streets of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is part of the Club Virunga, one of two official boxing clubs in the city.
Presentational white space
This series is part of the Radical Beauty project, an international photography project which aims to give people with Down syndrome their rightful place in the visual arts. Image copyright Marinka Masséus
Image caption A series by Marinka Masséus was awarded first place in the Creative category. It is part of Radical Beauty, an international photography project which aims to give people with Down syndrome a place in the visual arts.
Presentational white space
Bosphorus boat wedding party Image copyright Caimi / Piccinni
Image caption Valentina Piccinni and Jean-Marc Caimi started collaborating in 2013 for projects focused both on documentary and more personal, intimate photography. They were awarded first place in the Discovery category for their project Güle Güle, which captured images of the city of Istanbul.
Presentational white space
The ecology recovery landscape in Haidong Development Zone, Dali, Yunnan Province, China. Image copyright Yan Wang Preston
Image caption First prize in the Landscape category went to Yan Wang Preston. The series depicts the other-worldly "ecology recovery" landscape in Haidong Development Zone in Dali, Yunnan Province, China.
Bob, a Caribbean flamingo. Image copyright Jasper Doest
Image caption Natural World & Wildlife was won by Jasper Doest, whose project focuses on Bob, a Caribbean flamingo from the Dutch island of Curaçao. Bob's life took a dramatic turn when he flew into a hotel window, leaving him severely concussed. He was cared for by Odette Doest, a local vet who also runs a wildlife rehabilitation centre and conservation charity.



A member of the Chukchi community Image copyright Álvaro Laiz
Image caption Álvaro Laiz won the Portraiture prize for a series of black and white images of members of The Chukchi, an indigenous community who inhabit the Chukchi Peninsula, on the Russian side of the Bering Strait.
Presentational white space
A lipstick made from a food product Image copyright Nicolas Gaspardel
Image caption Nicolas Gaspardel and Pauline Baert were awarded first prize in the Still Life category for a project entitled Yuck.
A Congolese wedding party in Belgium Image copyright Rebecca Fertinel
Image caption Rebecca Fertinel's work, Ubuntu - I Am Because We Are, looks at the Congolese community in Belgium. It was awarded first place in the Brief category.

All photos courtesy of 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

Related Topics